Review: Lost 5×1-5×2

Now it's getting complicated

Lost 5x1

In the US: Wednesdays, 9/8c, ABC
In the UK: Sundays, 9pm, Sky One. Starts 25th January 2009

Ah, don’t we all remember those glorious days when Lost was simple and easy to understand?

No? Just me? Oh wait, it was always a bit tricky, wasn’t it? Now I remember.

However, relative to season five, season one was a breeze where everything was clear, well understood and you wondered where all the mystery was. Ever since then, we’ve been getting flashforwards, flashbacks, time travel, ghosts, Jacob, the others, the Dharma Initiative, Jim from Neighbours, mysterious not-French women and smoke monsters.

Season five carries on directly from where season four left off. Except three years later. And in the 70s. And the 40s. And possibly in the year umtidllyumptious as well. The dead walk the earth and maybe come back to life. Yes, it’s the fabled zombie season, here at last.

So after a season of mostly flashforwards, we more or less know what happened to Jack, Kate and co once they left the island and that three years afterwards, Benjamin Linus and John Locke try to convince them all to go back.

What we don’t know is what happened to everyone left on the island, why Locke and co want their fellow islanders to return, why Locke’s dead and a few other things. Quite a few, in fact, including what the hell is the island is, what the four-toed statue is and so on.

It looks like we’re on a forward march towards answers here, but judging by these two episodes, they’re not going to be simple. And a few dead islanders are going to be coming back in one form or another to help us work through it.

There’s the trademark Lostian interconnectedness of all things, there’s some decent action thanks to Jason Sayid and nefarious plans thanks to the usual schemers.

But while it feels intellectually very clever, there’s a certain blankness between the characters, as though they’re going through the motions the plot requires of them without much emotion. The emotion’s kind of there on the page, but everyone seems a bit worn out by it all.

All the same, if you’ve stuck with it this far, there’s enough excitement in these two episodes to keep you interested. Word is that the season is going to be made up of seven-episode story arcs, so that questions will get answered relatively quickly. But I’m still getting the feeling there are going to be a few important answers that might not get addressed at all.

Patience is the watchword of the day, I’m afraid. Patience. I hope it’s all going to be worth it.